Energize Your Instagram This New Year: Best Photo Locations in Erie, PA

Red map marker on a map surrounded by various traveling items.

As the new year approaches, you may be thinking of ways to showcase the newer, better you. Instagram can be a fun, engaging way to let the world know what’s up. Whether you’re aiming to connect more with friends and family or have professional aspirations of being an influencer or a marketing professional, Erie, PA, has dozens of picturesque locations to crank up the quality of your social content.

In this blog post, Port Farms, your go-to source for family fun and photography sessions, has created a list of the best photo locations in Erie, PA. If you want to make the most of your Instagram this upcoming year, here are the places to visit:

1. Port Farms

Well, would you look at that—we made the list! But seriously, we’re constantly getting requests from professional photographers about using the farm for their photoshoots. From engagements to baby announcements, so many people have captured their magical moments here.

But you don’t have to be a professional photographer to spruce up your Instagram. The layout of our farm and all of our activities are ideal for capturing precious moments year-round. So, hitch a ride to Port Farms and pull out that smartphone during our many seasonal activities (psst, don’t forget to put your phone away and just enjoy the day as well):

Spring/Summer

Fall/Winter

Currently, we are open for the holiday season from November 26th to December 23rd, Wednesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM.

*Note: Port Farms requires permits and copies of insurance policies for all professional photography sessions held on the farm.

2. Sara’s Restaurant

Three people at Sara's Restaurant at a hot dog photo stand-in.
Photo courtesy of Sara’s Restaurant.

A blast from the past, Sara’s Restaurant is a ’50s-style diner located near Presque Isle State Park. Whether you’re stopping by for a full American meal or just a milkshake, be sure to make use of all of the photo opportunities available. They have a variety of hilarious photo stand-ins, old cars, road signs, neon lights, and statues to pose with.

3. Presque Isle State Park

State parks make great locations for photos as they typically have an abundance of trees and flora at your disposal. In Presque Isle’s case, there is also a harbor, several lighthouses, sandy beaches, and even playgrounds. The park attracts people regularly due to its year-round recreational opportunities.

Consider showing off your in-line skating, bicycling, swimming, or hiking skills in your next Instagram post. You can also talk advantage of the parks many landmarks, such as:

  • Perry Monument
  • North Pier Lighthouse
  • Erie Land Lighthouse
  • Gull Point Trail
  • Misery Bay
  • Horseshoe Pond

4. Frontier Park

The Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park is like a museum, full of over 1,000 species of tree. In addition to the trees, Frontier Park also has a labyrinth, Willow Art, and newly-installed Griff Slides. The best part is, it’s free to the public. So go ahead and soak up nature’s light and greenery, and take photos to your heart’s content.

5. Erie Art Museum

From colorful ceramics and paintings to flashy comic book art, the Erie Art Museum has over 8,000 pieces to observe. Whether you’re celebrating your college graduation, taking senior pictures, or honoring another special occasion, the artwork at the Erie Art Museum will serve as a perfect backdrop for any photo.

But don’t just settle for indoor photographs. Outside, the Erie Art Museum’s iconic steps leading to the main entry will bring any picture to life. You can even strike a pose with the building’s pillars or colorful banners. To visit the museum, read more about upcoming gallery nights or schedule a tour today.

6. Bicentennial Tower

Sunset at the Bicentennial Tower in Erie, PA.
Photo courtesy of the Erie Western PA Port Authority.

The Bicentennial Tower is a waterfront landmark for Erie, PA. The tower, which overlooks the bay, is surrounded by several bustling restaurants and bars. Not only is this the perfect place to capture a photo of Erie’s famous sunset, but the Bicentennial Tower also showcases a vibrant abstract mural on the floor of the first observation deck. Whether you’d like to take a few selfies, host a photography session, or snap a few landscape shots, there’s plenty of photo opportunities.

Also located near the Bicentennial Tower is a number of photo-friendly restaurants and bars, such as:

Pro-tip: If you’re taking a picture to showcase your food or drink, make sure to tag the restaurant!

7. Wintergreen Gorge

One of Erie’s most notable trails, Wintergreen Gorge, sports a natural terrain that surrounds Fourmile Creek. Bask in nature by taking photos of the stunning landscape or snap a few action shots as you hike the meandering trails. Proficient hikers may be able to discover some Insta-worthy waterfalls along the route as well.

8. Schaefer’s Auto Art

If you’re in the mood for something a little more whimsical and quirky, drive to Schaefer’s Auto Art. It’s always decked out for the holidays, making it a unique experience every time you visit. Here, you can see how a Volkswagen Beetle becomes a giant spider, and miscellaneous car parts can form a two-headed dinosaur.

No matter your interests, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or admirer of art, these local works will be a fun addition to your Instagram feed.

9. Waterford Covered Bridge

If you want to remove yourself from the sounds of the city, take a trip out to the peaceful town of Waterford to visit the Waterford Covered Bridge. While the bridge itself is closed to vehicles due to its deteriorating condition, it still makes for a rustic photoshoot, given its age and lattice truss. What’s more, flowers and trees surround the bridge, creating a natural frame for a photoshoot. It is well-known for its historic beauty as it is one of two covered bridges in Erie County.

10. Vineyards and Orchards in North East

If you’re looking for a charming and home-grown yet sophisticated and elegant aesthetic, a trip out to North East, PA, could be the answer. It’s home to bunches of vineyards and orchards that’ll give your Instagram that trendy pop of color that only wine country can provide.

The contouring green of the vines mixed with the splashes of violet and purple from the grapes makes for a picturesque backdrop to spring and summer-themed pictures. In the late fall and early winter, vineyards out of bloom could be good for spooky Halloween photos—the same can be said for orchards!

Planning Your Next Photo Session

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to showcase your personality on your Instagram profile. Simply find yourself a camera-ready location, and you’re basically there! And, for all you professionals out there, Port Farms can help you too: just visit our photography session page to find out more.

When it comes to searching for the best photography location, look no further than Port Farms. No matter the season, we have many family-friendly activities that will be Instagram-worthy for the New Year. Visit our site for more information on upcoming events and activities.